It’s hard to lie to your doctor about how much you exercise when all you are wearing is a smile.
I got the well-deserved lecture that I need to start putting myself on the priority list. She rattled off the long list of benefits of exercising and taking care of myself while explaining that the family should be like a ferris wheel: each person should be able to rotate to the top of what is important.
I started to blubber about my blubber, spilling my flabby guts about how I don’t put myself on my radar. She said that I was under doctor’s orders to get my act together. I was all gung-ho… for five days.
I have every excuse in the book of why I am too busy: my job, kids’ schedules, writing this blog, volunteering, husband travels, blah, blah, blah. And because I work from home, I barely move all day except to graze through my kitchen. I never wear a constricting waistband to even notice that my muffin top expanded into a spare tire.
My clothes from last year didn’t fit and I was tired all the time. Even my calves outgrew my boots and I couldn’t zip them up (much to the amusement of my gal pals during a brunch).
So when a friend sent an email inviting me to take part in a “get healthy” competition, I thought it was a divine intervention. She explained that it is based on the book The Game On Diet and that we will compete as teams. You earn points for sleeping, changing habits, eating well and drinking water. Sounded more reasonable than the Cabbage Soup diet that my husband followed when we were engaged. He ended up pooping himself right after our “Preparing for Marriage” class at church.
God has a funny way of giving you a glimpse into your future.
She dropped off her copy of the book for me to read over the weekend which I didn’t have time to do until two days before the challenge began.
My procrastination ended up being another blessing in disguise. If I knew and thought too much about what I was getting myself into, I would have chickened out. The rules were strict. Goodbye to my three best friends: white sugar, white flour and booze. Others had to part with their lover Diet Coke.
Hello to five meals a day balanced with the right amount of protein, carbs, veggies and healthy fat. We also had to drink three liters of water and exercise for 20 minutes each day. Each week, you had one meal and one whole day off that you can eat and drink anything you want.
The book also made habits a part of the game because studies have shown that true weight loss happens with a lifestyle change, rather than just a diet and exercise program. I chose to give up my bad habit of screaming at my family — even when they had it coming. Others gave up Facebook, excessive TV and computer time, piling clothes on a chair and being critical of her spouse (even when he had it coming).
I also needed to pick up a new good habit. Because no one sees me, I can get away with being schlumpy all day and didn’t bother showering until I picked my kids up from school. So, I decided to make myself presentable each day by 8:30 a.m. and actually give a crap about my appearance. My fellow competitors committed to taking multivitamins, making to do lists, spending quality time with each child, taking better care of teeth/skin and reading more.
The word of our competition spread and we had 14 amazing women from three states commit. Most of us only knew each other through email exchanges. “We can do anything for four weeks!” was our battle cry. We divided up the teams, threw $50 into the pot for the winners and got our Game On for the next 28 days.
The night before the contest (see a pattern here?), I wandered aimlessly throughout the grocery store, clenching my approved food list. I didn’t have meals planned, so I just grabbed as much stuff in the produce and organic aisles as possible.
I tried to read the labels, but it was frustrating to see how much sugar was added to everything — including my trusty Colon Blow cereal. DAMMIT. Nothing makes a day more productive than a morning movement.
I taped the rules on my fridge, indulged in a farewell cocktail and hoped for the best.
By day two of treating my body as a temple, I had a puke-inducing migraine and had to take a sick day. (Which is no fun when you are actually ill!)
What the hell did I get myself into?
I have not been compensated by the authors for this post. My Contest Friends are cool with me sharing our story, however all the snarky opinions are my own. If you purchase the book through this site, Barnes and Noble will give me a couple of shillings.